Dark matter distorts the light of distant galaxies

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) – Astronomers of the French-Canadian Observatory in the Hawaiian Islands published the largest-scale images of space objects, indicating the existence of dark matter, which is 23% of the mass of the universe.

Each image displays a section of the sky a billion light years away. Astronomers see in the photographs traces of distortion by gravity of distant stars, which can indicate the impact of dark matter.

The mystery of dark matter and dark energy

  • The presence of a mass of known stars and galaxies can not explain the observed picture of the universe
  • For example, galaxies should fly in different directions – in fact they form groups or clusters
  • Astrophysicists proposed the theoretical concept of “dark matter”, invisible to us, but detectable by the impact on cosmic objects at the galactic level
  • The expansion of the universe occurs with acceleration, which indicates the impact of some “dark energy”, which is opposed to gravity
  • According to modern ideas, 73% of the mass of the universe exists in the form of dark energy, 23% – dark matter, and only 4% refer to the mass of stars and galaxies.

These new images were shown at the 219th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, now taking place in Austin, Texas.

Four pictures were taken at different times of the year; they fit images of more than 10 million galaxies, the light of which is subjected to gravitational distortion of invisible dark matter.

“The general theory of gravity of Einstein postulates that gravity distorts space and time, therefore, in the form of these distortions, we can draw conclusions about the existence of concentrations of dark matter in the universe,” says Edinburgh University employee Catherine Heymans.- Dark matter leaves its mark on images of very remote galaxies “.

The scale of the images is approximately 100 times larger than the scale of similar photographs obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope as part of the Cosmic Evolution Survey (space evolution study).

The picture of the distribution of concentrations of dark matter is determined by the distortions of light emitted by groups of galaxies connected by thin strings of dark matter and separated by huge spaces in which there is no matter.

Observations confirm the theory

To the delight of astronomers, theorists, these images fully confirm their ideas about the evolution of the universe.

“Our theories about dark matter proceed from the fact that it should form a complex cellular structure in the depths of the cosmos, and we are witnessing such a picture,” says Dr. Heymans.

At the meeting of the American Astronomical Union, other studies were also presented that also throw light on the distribution of dark matter among galaxies.

Sukanya Chakrabarti of the University of Florida made a report on how the folds in the interstellar gas streams that follow the spiral galaxies point to gravitational perturbations caused by clumps of dark matter.

Cosmologists and astronomers have reacted with great enthusiasm to this next confirmation of the correctness of Einstein’s theory of gravity and modern ideas about the structure of the universe.

However, they readily admit that science as yet knows nothing about the physical nature of either dark matter or dark energy, which is considered responsible for the expansion of the universe.

“It is considered that our ultimate understanding of the dark universe depends on new physical discoveries that will forever change our understanding of the cosmos,” says Kathryn Heymans. “And the new data is the first step in this direction.”